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ALA-Sponsored Library Support Staff Certification Program. Kim Blaylock Cataloging Assistant Washington County Public Library Abingdon, VA (276)676-6340 VLAPF Conference, May 2012. Why Certification?. R-E-S-P-E-C-T!.

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ala sponsored library support staff certification program

ALA-SponsoredLibrary Support StaffCertification Program

Kim Blaylock

Cataloging Assistant

Washington County Public Library

Abingdon, VA


VLAPF Conference, May 2012


“I want recognition that my job is important, that my work is valued, that I am valued as a human being. This is more important than money. I want to be trusted that I will do what I’m paid for. I need pride in myself and my job.”

Suzanne Mahmoodi and Kathleen Weibel, Paraprofessionals: What Are They Doing? What Are the Trends? How Do They Get to A Desired Future; A Report of Focus Groups (unpublished, 1991).

the value of lssc
The Value of LSSC
  • Earns you the respect you deserve
  • Allows you to demonstrate your value
  • Gives you an edge on a job or promotion
  • Provides flexibility in the work environment
  • Increases your self-confidence
  • Portable to other states
  • Proof of achievement
  • Library users are better served
key points to know
Key points to know:
  • Have 4 years to complete the program

  • Renew certification every 4 years

  • 3 core and 3 elective competency sets to complete

  • May complete by taking approved online courses, portfolio submissions, or a combination of both

more key points to consider
More key points to consider:
  • Does not guarantee a promotion or raise
  • Does not count as credit towards an MLS/MLIS
  • DOES have other important types of value, though (as previously discussed)!

eligibility cost
Eligibility & Cost:
  • Minimum of a high school degree or equivalent
  • Worked or volunteered in any type of library for a minimum of 1 year (1820 hours) within the last 5 years.
  • $325 for ALA members ($350 non-members)

payment ideas
Payment ideas:
  • LSSC financial assistance awards available
  • Place of employment
  • Friends of the Library
  • Library association
  • State library agency
  • Regional library cooperative

required competency sets
Required Competency Sets:
  • Communication & Teamwork
  • Foundations of Library Service
  • Technology

elective competency sets choose only 3
Elective Competency Sets(Choose only 3)
  • Access Services
  • Adult Readers’ Advisory Services
  • Cataloging & Classification
  • Collection Management
  • Reference & Information Services
  • Supervision & Management
  • Youth Services
approved courses
Approved Courses
  • “The LSSC Program does not offer any courses; instead the program approves courses from providers of library education. These providers set the fee for their courses. Payment for these courses is separate from the candidate registration fee.”

portfolio ideas
Portfolio Ideas:
  • Watch the Portfolio Webinar!
  • Look at examples!
  • Check out the development suggestions!

live text car
Live Text / CAR
  • Your “Dashboard”
  • Where you submit your work
  • Where you see your reviews

keep updated
Keep updated
  • Check out LSSC webinars

  • Browse LSSC news often

find a mentor
Find a Mentor
  • Preferably a degreed librarian that shares the same specialization interest as you (reference, cataloging, programming, etc.)
more information
More Information



Karen Strege:

Nancy Bolt:


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--Slides #2, 3, 4 & 18 borrowed from ALA’s official Introduction to the Library Support Staff Program .ppt slideshow, by permission.